Whole foods rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc and biotin may help promote a healthy scalp and hair. Add these foods to your grocery cart – think of them as ingredients in a healthy hair recipe!
- Dark leafy greens. Kale, Swiss chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens are good sources of vitamins A and C, which the body needs to produce the oily substance sebum, a natural conditioner for your hair.
- Salmon. Omega-3 fatty acids, of which wild-caught salmon is a top source, are important to a healthy scalp. Salmon (always look for wild Alaskan or sockeye salmon) is also a good source of protein. If you don’t like the taste of fish, be sure to get omega-3 in other ways like a high-quality fish oil supplement.
- Beans and legumes. They are a good source of protein which helps promote hair growth, as well as iron, biotin and zinc. (Biotin deficiencies can occasionally result in brittle hair.) Another good source of zinc is raw pumpkin seeds or pepitas. Add a small handful per day like you would use nuts.
- Nuts. Specific varieties of nuts contain vitamins and minerals that can help promote the health of your scalp. Brazil nuts are a good source of selenium (limit yourself to no more than two Brazil nuts per day). Walnuts provide the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid, which may help condition your hair, as well as zinc, which can minimize hair shedding. Cashews, almonds and pecans are other hair-healthy choices. Aim for raw varieties as often as you can, or lightly toast it yourself if an added crunch is preferred.
- Eggs. A good source of protein, which helps prevent dry, weak and brittle hair. Choose organic, omega-3 fortified eggs from cage-free hens.